4 Causes and Prevention of Worms
Windowofworld.com – Worms are not only at risk for children, but also for adults. Poor hygiene or dirty environment can be one factor that can facilitate the spread of worm infections.
Symptoms of intestinal worms sometimes appear vague. Symptoms of intestinal worms that can be complaints include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, no appetite, to weight loss. If not treated properly, intestinal worms can cause more severe health problems, such as anemia. If the worms reach other organs, such as the liver or brain, they can cause serious disorders.
Recognize the Causes of Worms in the Body
The cause of intestinal worms in a person varies depending on what type of worm that enters the body. Some of the most common types of worms cause intestinal worms in humans, namely:
Tapeworm or Cestoda, can be recognized from the shape that looks like a ribbon that is flat with joints on the whole body. The length of adult tapeworms can reach 4.5 to 9 meters. Tapeworms enter the human body when the hands come in contact with feces or soil containing worm eggs and then carried into the mouth while eating. In addition, tapeworms can also enter through consumption of food or drinks that have been contaminated with worm eggs. Consumption of raw or undercooked pork, beef or fish can also cause tapeworm entry into the human body.
2. Mine Worms
Hookworm in the form of larvae and adults can live in the small intestine of humans and can attack pets, including cats and dogs. Hookworm infections generally occur due to contact with the soil in a warm and humid environment in which there are eggs or hookworms. Adult hookworms with a length of about 5-13 millimeters can penetrate the skin, for example through the soles of the feet that do not use a base, then enter the circulation blood and also carried into the lungs and throat. If swallowed, the worms will enter the intestine. Hookworm infections are still common in tropical and humid climate regions with poor environmental sanitation, including Indonesia.
Pinworms are white and smooth, about 5-13 millimeters long. Pinworm infections are most commonly experienced by school-age children. Pinworm infections are generally caused by accidentally ingesting very small pinworm eggs. These worm eggs spread very easily. Can be through food, drinks or contaminated fingers. Worm eggs then enter the intestine and develop into adult worms within a few weeks. If the worm egg reaches the anus and is scratched, the worm egg can move to the finger, then touch the surface of an object or someone else.
This worm is quite large, with a length of about 10 -35 cm. Roundworms can enter the human body through soil that has been contaminated with worm eggs. When it enters the body, eggs will hatch in the intestine, then spread through blood vessels or lymph channels to other body organs such as the lungs or bile.
To deal with intestinal worms, the doctor will likely give worm medicine not only to sufferers, but also to all family members to prevent recurrent infections. Some people experience mild side effects in the digestive tract during treatment.
Worm medicines for children and adults that are commonly prescribed are mebendazole, albendazole, pirantel pamoat, and praziquantel. If there is anemia, the doctor will give iron supplements. For large-sized helminth infections such as roundworms, surgery is sometimes necessary if the worms clog the bile ducts or appendicitis.
Tips for Preventing Worm Infection
One effective way to prevent intestinal worms is to maintain personal hygiene and the environment. In addition, there are several other steps that can be taken to prevent intestinal worms, namely:
- Store raw meat and fish well, then cook until cooked.
- Wash fruits and vegetables properly before consumption.
- If you have a worm infection, wash your anus in the morning to reduce the number of worm eggs, because worms usually lay eggs at night.
- Change underwear and sheets every day during infection.
- Wash bed clothes, bed sheets, underwear, and towels with hot water to eradicate worm eggs.
- Avoid scratching the area around the anal itch. Cut the nails so that there is no place for worm eggs. Don’t bite the nail.
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after urinating, changing baby’s diapers, before cooking and before eating.
- Avoid walking barefoot and touching the ground or sand without gloves.
Worms should not be underestimated. If you or a family member experiences symptoms of intestinal worms, consult your doctor about appropriate treatment.